Coach: Dre Simmons
#26: 6’0 ’23 Jon David Gardner (Heathwood Hall)
Starting things off, we look at a player that was arguably the most reliable three-point shooter on this team, Jon David Gardner. He’s a young, wiry guard prospect with a phenomenal shooting stroke and the ability to thrive with or without the ball in his hands. Gardner is a reliable ball-handler and passer, but makes an even stronger impact with his phenomenal off-ball movement. He plays with a high motor and unselfish approach, which is evident in his efforts as a defender and rebounder. Next in his development process is working on becoming quicker, as it would make him an even better penetrator. Coach Simmons on Gardner: “Jon showed great court vision at times but also has the sniper game in him. If you leave him open, count it for three. He moves well without the ball and simply has a nice feel for the game. Jon plays very well within the flow of the offense and is an all-around team guy. He also proved to be a decent defender that was able to stick with whoever he defended throughout camp.” Gardner enjoyed a great showing at camp, especially for his age, and will emerge as a strong contributor sooner than later for Heathwood Hall.
#27: 6’0 ’23 Chrisean Oree (Keenan)
Next, we look at a player that showcased his ability to do a quality amount of everything, Chrisean Oree. He’s a young, wiry guard prospect with an extremely nice complementary skillset, able to score in a variety of ways or operate as the primary creator. Oree scores the ball efficiently from all three levels and knows how to mix it up on that end of the floor. He’s smart, crafty, and unselfish, which allows him to fit seamlessly alongside any group of teammates. Next in his development process is working to add strength, as it would allow him to become a more physical defensive presence. Coach Simmons on Oree: “Chrisean made some very nice passes and proved to be a valuable playmaker throughout the day. He had the hustle spirit in him and wasn’t afraid to hit the floor for loose balls. He would get in the mix for rebounds against opposing big men down low. Chrisean also impressed me with his crossover move and his midrange jumper. Overall, he was great to have on my team and was a great kid all the way around.” Oree did a lot of things well while working within the team concept, which should allow him to carve out a useful role for Keenan during the upcoming season.
#41: 6’1 ’21 Caleb Houston (Goose Creek)
Moving onto a player that showcased an impressive array of skills during his time at camp, Caleb Houston. He’s a wiry, crafty two-way guard prospect with phenomenal vision, unselfishness, and the ability to create for himself and others very effectively. Houston is at his best when getting downhill, attacking the basket, and making plays within the paint but can also step out and knock down the open jumper. Next in his development process is working on his ability to shoot off the dribble, as it would make him a more lethal offensive threat. Coach Simmons on Houston: “Caleb has some nice moves when going to the basket. When you combine that with his ability to make timely passes, he is a real problem for the defense. At times, he proved to be a real scoring threat with his hesitation dribble and crossover, which allowed him to get to the rack and finish with either hand. Once Caleb got comfortable and realized that he belonged, he really kind of had his way. I think he could be a reliable combo guard, especially once he squares his shot all the way up. This kid is tough and a good prospect.” Houston highlighted a ton of valuable tools during camp and could be poised for a breakout upcoming season at Goose Creek.
#54: 6’2 ’21 Amarion Turner (Legion Academy)
Continuing onto a player that showcased a fairly well-rounded skillset throughout camp, Amarion Turner. He’s a long, wiry guard prospect with the ability to operate from either backcourt position and apply nonstop three-level scoring pressure. Turner handles and passes the ball well, but typically works as an off-ball threat through his cutting and nice spot-up prowess. He’s able to fill in the gaps on both ends of the floor, securing rebounds, playing with great defensive effort, and making the extra pass whenever available. Turner is smart and fundamentally-sound, which makes him a player that any team can utilize. Next in his development process is working to become quicker, as it would make him even tougher to contain off the bounce. Coach Simmons on Turner: “Amarion was a good team player and accepted coaching well throughout the day. He received instruction and teaching well. He showed range on his three-point shot and got more confidence as the day carried onward. I believe Amarion will be a good player with continued hard work.” Turner showed some great flashes during camp and should be one of the most productive prospects this season for Legion Academy.
#55: 6’2 ’22 LeBron Thomas (Lee Central)
Next, we look at a player that is arguably the top floor general within his class in South Carolina, LeBron Thomas. He’s a smart, tough, incredibly poised two-way point guard prospect with a nonstop motor and elite playmaking abilities. Thomas is a phenomenal leader by example and scores the ball efficiently from all three levels while locking up his assignment on the other end. Next in his development process is simply continuing to add strength, as it’ll help prepare him for the next level. Coach Simmons on Thomas: “LeBron brings so many things to the table. He has a great feel for the game and makes consistently smart decisions with the ball in his hands. He sees the floor very well and can thread the needle with his passes. As a point guard and team leader, you can count on him to run the offense well. That being said, he can also switch gears and be a dominant scoring threat if necessary or asked to do so. He can get to the rack at will and handles the ball very well. He’s the type of guard that rebounds and goes coast-to-coast with ease. He also has added range to his shot and is now stepping out beyond the arc. LeBron is on his way and was a pleasure to coach this weekend.” Thomas continues to look like a high-level prospect and could be poised for a breakout upcoming season at Lee Central.
#80: 6’4 ’21 Russell Felton Jr. (Aiken)
Moving onto a player that was utterly dominant on both sides of the ball throughout camp, Russell Felton Jr. He’s a strong, athletic, aggressive two-way guard prospect that offers instant offense and phenomenal defensive intensity. Felton is the ultimate competitor and can control the game in a variety of different ways. Next in his development process is working on his ability to move without the ball, as it would make him a more complete offensive threat. Coach Simmons on Felton: “Russ is just a beast! He has so many different skills but his motor and downright will might be his most impressive qualities. You are not stopping him from getting to his spots. He has a body like a tight end but is agile and graceful with a blend of power. He will posterize opponents if they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. He has an all-around game that just screams out next-level. I believe that Russ is a must-have as a coach. You need a guy like him on your squad. He brings energy, enthusiasm, and the flat-out will to win. He’s always positive and a pleasure to coach. He also brings it on every possession on defense and if he gets in the passing lanes, it’s going to be a highlight on the other end. I believe after his performance today, he has established himself as an elite player and should really be on the radar.” Felton was undeniably impressive, securing the camp MVP with relative ease, and looks poised for a big-time upcoming season at Aiken.
#81: 6’4 ’21 Yaturi Bolton (Goose Creek)
Continuing onto a player that has the two-way toughness and skillset necessary to mesh nicely with any group of teammates, Yaturi Bolton. He’s a long, athletic, high-motor wing prospect with the ability to attack the basket and finish above the rim quite regularly. Bolton is a great rebounder and exceptional defender with the ability to switch across multiple positions seamlessly. Next in his development process is working on his shooting consistency off the dribble, as it would make him an even more lethal offensive threat. Coach Simmons on Felton: “Coast-to-coast! Yaturi is a blur in the open court, has nice handles, and shifty moves to get to the rack. When he rebounds the ball, it’s like a layup on the other end. At his length, the way he handles the ball is a pleasure to see. He also showcased the three-pointer and some good court vision when the defense collapsed. Playing with this much talent around him, I think that Yaturi deferred at times but could be a go-to guy on any given night for sure. His upside is tremendous and his future is bright.” Bolton enjoyed an excellent showing at camp and will be a prospect for college coaches to monitor during the upcoming season, as he should emerge as a primary leader for Goose Creek.
#100: 6’5 ’22 Semajeh Echols (Westside)
Next, we look at a player with the ability to impact the game in a variety of different ways, Semajeh Echols. He’s a big, strong-bodied forward/post prospect with an excellent motor, great rebounding prowess, and a clear team-first approach. Echols is a reliable option from the block, but can also step out and knock down the perimeter jumper quite effectively. Next in his development process is working on becoming a craftier ball-handler, as it would allow him to take advantage of slower opponents along the perimeter. Coach Simmons on Echols: “Semajeh has a very nice feel for his low-post game. His back-to-the-basket moves looked very good. He runs the floor hard and crashes the glass on every play. He had tons of putbacks throughout the day and was apart of the clean-up crew. He also passes very well out of the post and cuts well with the ball. I was also impressed with his strength because, if he got his on a rebound it was secure and wasn’t going anywhere. Samajeh showed good midrange touch and, overall, there is a lot to like about this young man. If you’re looking for a work horse, look no further. Last but not least, everyone is invited to his block party, so beware when penetrating.” Echols impact the game in a variety of different ways during camp and should be a major contributor sooner than later for Westside.
#106: 6’6 ’20 Carter Kirkland (Greer Middle College)
Moving onto a player that was arguably the main hustle worker and blue-collar prospect on this team, Carter Kirkland. He’s a long, wiry, team-first forward prospect that plays with an active motor and looks to create havoc on either end of the floor. Kirkland offers a nice blend of size, skill, and athleticism, which allows him to make a pretty consistent impact on the glass and then immediately push the break in transition. Next in his development process is working to add strength, as it would make him more difficult for opponents to contain on the glass. Coach Simmons on Kirkland: “Carter was a reliable big man with a ton of guard skills. He was able to take bigger opponents out to the three-point line and showcased range. He plays with such a high motor and rebounds the ball very well. He also passes very well for his size and displays a great feel for the game. Down low, he has an amazing head fake and is shifty with his moves. He is a solid option at either forward position and could even play center against smaller big men. Carter also showcased some handles in the open court.” Kirkland did a lot of things to help the team during camp and should emerge as the leader this season for Greer Middle College.
#120: 6’6 ’22 Marvin Hires (Dreher)
Finishing up, we look at a player that was easily among the most versatile two-way prospects in attendance, Marvin Hires. He’s a big, strong-bodied forward prospect with an extremely well-rounded skillset and the ability to affect all facets of the game. Hires is built like a football player but possesses tremendous skill and IQ, making him a walking mismatch for most opponents. Next in his development process is working on becoming a craftier ball-handler, as it would allow him to play on the perimeter more often. Coach Simmons on Hires: “Marvin is a flat-out man. He is a bully on the block and is a great combination of grace and power. This kid has all the tools in his bag. He can dribble, shoot, and has great moves around the hoop. To finish that off, he gets above the rim with ease. He is a player, for real. He showed a nice midrange game as well as the floater over bigger defenders. The scary thing is that Marvin has point guard skills and can lead the break and make the right pass. He’s going to make some coach very happy in the near future. Defensively, he has great timing and gets off his feet quickly to send away shots. He really made a name for himself amongst elite competition and I was thoroughly impressed with his performance.” Hires earned an invite after dominating camp the week prior and should have coaches excited about his all-around game.